Sunday, February 27, 2011

Town & Country

It is hard blogging about the farm when I am away from it for the winter. This is why my posts tend to thin a bit once I've returned to New York in January. I just don't have the callus-building hands-on daily experience to write from. So, I will continue to write about what I know and experience in contrast to my life on the farm. Which means a little bit more about the gentleman in the gentleman farmer. So here goes.

Sally and I do the New York-Tuscany shuffle. We do not disagree with anyone who says we have the best of both worlds. But right now the farm is asleep. The new wine is quiescent in the cool cantina. The new olive oil is thick as green lard in the cans. In two months the oil will thin and settle, the wine will fizz once again, and the buds on the prune and peach trees will pop. And I will be there for it. But right now who is Jack without all this?

Sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump, a super-lucky nobody among somebodies. Imagine me at my friend Jean Pagliuso's opening of her "Poultry & Raptor Suites" at the Marlborough Gallery a few nights ago. Jean renders exquisite black and white portraits of seemingly unlikely subjects until you see them and realize the personality in each once it's rendered on specially prepared mulberry paper.

The subject (above) and the work.

I took my friend, Italian movie producer Roberto Bessi (Ladyhawke, A Good Woman, Modigliani, etc.), to the opening. He has been here the last four days, drumming up interest in several projects we are developing together, including a romantic comedy based on my experience reclaiming the abandoned Tuscan farm.

Afterwards, Sally, Roberto, and I went to a cozy after party at the home of Jean and her husband Tommy Cohen, where Roberto pretty quickly struck up a conversation with an old acquaintance, Jeremy Irons. I was also able to reconnect with many of the people I missed over the 9 months I was working on the farm, including Managing Editor at Sports Illustrated, Terry McDonell, amazing figurative painter Eric Fischl and his wife, landscape painter April Gornik. Susan Minot, Bryan Hunt, surgeon-author Jerry Imber, and other friends were there, as well. Thanks Jean and Tommy for a bright night in a long cold winter.

Sometimes I can't believe my life. When I'm not doing what I love on the farm, I'm doing what I love in the city that never sleeps. Farmer Jack is one very lucky gentleman.

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